Work and Pensions Committee chair, Frank Field, has questioned The Pensions Regulator’s chief executive, Lesley Titcomb, on the lessons that can be learnt from the Kodak pension scheme, after it was revealed it is “likely” to enter the Pension Protection Fund.
His letter follows an update to members of the Kodak Pension Plan 2 (KPP2) from trustees that stated it is “likely” that the scheme will fall into the PPF.
Field noted that the PPF is now facing its biggest claim to date, and asked what the regulator could learn from the “unusual experience”.
“Members of the scheme have received benefits better than the PPF for more than four years longer than they might otherwise have done, which is welcome. Nevertheless, the PPF is now facing its biggest single claim to date.
“In the light of this announcement, might you please reflect on whether there are any lessons that The Pensions Regulator could usefully learn from this unusual experience? In particular, it would be helpful to have your assessment of the level of protection it has provided for the PPF, as envisaged by the section 89 report," he wrote.
In his letter, Field also highlighted the “unusual circumstances” that led to the creation of the scheme, following a regulated apportionment arrangement that required the approval of the regulator.
The regulator agreed a governance framework in relation to the scheme that involves regular, scheduled monitoring of the performance of the Kodak Alaris businesses and the scheme’s funding position; restrictions on the augmentation of benefits; restrictions on investments; and, triggers for the winding up of the scheme, based on the position of the scheme.